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US had 'sporadic' contacts with Jundallah: Report

Press TV - After the US vehemently denied having links to terrorists involved in a bombing attack in Iran, a former top army general in Pakistan and a former CIA case officer reveal more details about US contacts with Jundallah.

A Jundullah suicide bomber killed more than 40 people including commanders of the IRGC near the Pakistani border in Iran's Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

Earlier in October, a number of top Islamic Revolution Guards Corps (IRGC) commanders and Shia and Sunni tribal leaders were killed in a suicide bombing in the borderline region of Pishin in Iran's southeastern Sistan-Baluchestan Province.

The Pakistan-based Jundallah terrorist group, which is believed to be closely affiliated with the al Qaeda organization, claimed responsibility for the bombing.

Following the attack, which killed more than 40 people, Iranian officials accused certain foreign countries including the US, Britain, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia of supporting Jundallah.

The US, the UK and Pakistan were quick to reject the claim.

Shortly after the bombing, State Department spokesman Ian Kelly described claims of US involvement in the attack as "completely false."

The official condemnations by foreign countries came while Jundallah group has not been designated as a terrorist organization, neither has it been place on a terrorism blacklists.

The group is generally described by Western countries as an "opposition group" or "militant" faction.

Meanwhile, former army chief of staff in Pakistan General Aslam Beg, speaking to The Associated Press, said that the border village of Mand has been used as a staging point for US contacts with Jundallah.

"US aid also was funneled into the region through the Pakistani ports of Kot Kalmat and Jiwani," he told AP.

In a separate article published by The Time, former Middle East case officer at the Central Intelligence Agency Robert Baer said the CIA had "sporadic" contact with Jundallah.

"American intelligence has also had contact with Jundallah. But that contact, as Iran almost certainly knows, was confined to intelligence-gathering on the country," wrote Baer.

In his article, the former CIA official also claimed that "a relationship with Jundallah was never formalized, and contact was sporadic."

Following the attack, Iranian Interior Minister Mostafa Mohammad-Najjar went on an official visit to Islamabad to discuss the recent deadly blast.

The two countries pledged cooperation to crack down on Jundallah and signed a security pact for a joint border-monitoring unit to prevent future such acts of terror.

... Payvand News - 10/31/09 ... --

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